PSX Modification FAQ by AKraus

Updated: 01/01/70 | Printable Version

Modding FAQ
Author: Alex Kraus
Please do not distribute or modify this FAQ without the author's permission.

What is the best way to mod my PlayStation?

This is a question that may confuse people new to importing. There are various 
ways to play your imports on your PSX.. But which one is best? I've decided to 
create this FAQ to rate each modding technique to make things simple.

One thing I may need to note before I continue is that Modding your psx is not 
illegal. You have paid for it with your own money, so you are free to modify it 
in any way you wish. Although, playing a pirated version of a game you do not 
own is illegal, so be aware.

SWAP TRICK     Cost Efficiency: (*)(*)(*)(*)(*) (nothing!) Convenience: (*)( )( 
)( )( ) Effectiveness: (*)( )( )( )( ) Overall: (*)( )( )( )( ) Spring Needed?: 
Yes/GameShark compatibility?: No

Pros: If this works for you, by all means, use it!! The swap trick is a method 
of playing imports and backups. All you'll need to do this is a sping and a game 
of the country of origin of your PSX (which, odds are, you will). But... that's 
only if you can do it. Also, there are many methods, if your PSX is capable.

Cons: This method only works with the VERY old versions of the US and Japanese 
PSX's. I used to have a 1001 version and this trick would not work. Why? Because 
as soon as Sony discovered it, they fixed it. You would simply insert the spring 
into the icicle-looking thing and have it push on the button beneith it (called 
the "Drive Sensor"). This would tell the psx that the CD door was closed but it 
really wasn't. You'd just go into the CD menu on the PSX, have it read the CD, 
take it out, put in your import/CDR and exit. What was wrong with this? Usually 
many music tracks would be lost when playing the game and sometimes the game 
would stall for no reason. And if you're not careful, you may risk scratching 
your lense and/or ruining your turntable in the process of popping in a disc as 
fast as your arms can carry it. I won't post the many swapping methods here, so 
if you know you have a really old PSX, go look for them.

MOD CHIP     Cost Efficiency: (*)(*)(*)(*)( ) ($3-25) Convenience: 
(*)(*)(*)(*)(*) Effectiveness: (*)(*)(*)(*)( ) Overall: (*)(*)(*)( )( ) Spring 
Needed?: No/GameShark compatibility?: No

Pros: Once installed, modding can't get easier. Just pop and play! All you'll 
need to do is put in your game and turn it on. No time-consuming set-ups and 
disc swapping. Also, if you have a GameShark, or other device, you can turn on 
codes before you start to play. New stealth modchips allow you to play *some* 
anti-piracy games.

Cons: Installing a modchip is difficult if you don't know what you're doing. 
You'll need to tear open your PSX and pull every part out carefully until you 
reach the motherboard. One small slip-up could mean ruining your PSX. Also, 
attempting to open your PSX and install a modchip voids your warranty, so do go 
crying to Sony if you screw up. Also, the common modchip will not play new anti-
piracy games, such as Final Fantasy VIII and Final IQ. Although, if you have a 
GameShark, codes may allow you to play such games. And what's more, chipping has 
been known to make PSX's overheat more often.

GAME ENHANCER (PRO ACTION REPLAY)     Cost Efficiency: (*)(*)(*)( )( ) ($13-40) 
Convenience: (*)(*)(*)(*)( ) Effectiveness: (*)(*)(*)(*)( ) Overall: 
(*)(*)(*)(*)(*) Spring Needed?: Yes/GameShark compatibility?: Yes

Pros: This is my personal favorite! The GE does not void your warranty and the 
risk of damaging your PSX is minimal. It pluges into your I/O port, just like a 
GameShark and is menu driven. Most games load without a hitch, and what's more? 
Most GE's have tons of features built into them, such as Memory Manages, CD 
readers, etc. You can even watch PSX movies right off your favorite game! But 
one of the biggest features is the ability to input codes, just like a 
GameShark. This way, if you have a new anti-piracy game, you can put in codes to 
allow you to play it. I could go on about this thing all day.. I also recommend 
it to people looking for a GameShark, as it does the same thing as a GS and 
more. Currently, this is the reigning champ in the importing world.

Cons: There aren't many. You may find taking 30 seconds to take out a US game 
and put in your import annoying, but consider the alternatives! Also, some 
backups, if not copied correctly, may be played with a mod chip, but not with a 
GE. I'm not quite sure why. 

THE "BLUE DISC"     Cost Efficiency: (*)(*)( )( )( ) ($75+) Convenience: 
(?)(?)(?)(?)(?) Effectiveness: (?)(?)(?)(?)(?) Overall: (?)(?)(?)(?)(?) Spring 
Needed?: Probably/GameShark compatibility?: ??

I don't really have all that much info about this one. I know that companies out 
of Asia produced this one and was available in import shops for around $75. It 
came around before the GE, so it was probably considered the safest alternative 
to the MC at the time. It would have probably been some elaborate build off the 
Swap trick, as the GE is, where you would take the disc out after it loaded and 
put in your import.
If anyone has this or can give me more info, please email me!

JAPANESE PLAYSTATION     Cost Efficiency: (*)( )( )( )( ) ($120+) Convenience: 
(*)(*)(*)(*)(*) Effectiveness: (*)(*)(*)(*)(*) Overall: (*)(*)( )( )( ) Spring 
Needed?: No/GameShark compatibility?: Yes

Pros: Here's the ultimate alternative. Obviously, no chances of a game loading 
incorrectly. You just pop in your import and play!

Cons: I would only recommend this to the serious hardcore gamer who's willing to 
slap down the bucks. Obviously, it won't play backups. Also, be aware of how old 
the model is that you buy, because some original versions of Japanese games with 
anti-piracy codes won't play in very old models. But if you run into this, the 
manufacturer will probably try to send you a corrected version. One other thing 
-- keep in mind that most US devices, memory cards, etc., are not compatible 
with JP models, and vice versa.

Copyright 1999 Alex Kraus